2011-06-30 / Front Page

Lifeguard Chance Sherrill Saves Young Girl

Chance Sherrill Chance Sherrill Chance Sherrill saved a young girl’s life using his skills as a lifeguard on Thursday, June 16. Just before dusk, Chance and his girlfriend, Heather Mills, and some of her family were boating on Canyon Lake when someone started waving at them. At first, they thought they were just waving to say hello, but then Heather’s brother noticed it seemed like they were waving for them to come over there. So, they went to them and the people were on tubes and said that there was a girl in trouble and motioned them toward the bank. When they pulled up, Chance immediately dove from the boat as it was in motion and identified himself as a lifeguard to a young teenage girl who was barely above water, struggling to stay up. He yelled out to her to remain calm and that he was going to help her. The girl was able to put her arms around his neck and hold on as he swam back to the boat with her on his back. Once she was in the boat, they went back to the other four people floating on tubes and also rescued them, taking them into the boat and then back to the bank.

Chance’s mother, Chyrl Sherrill, said, “Basically, there were several family and friends casually floating along the bank when strong winds pushed them out over their heads and this particular girl fell off her tube and could not swim. None of the people floating had on life vests. The tragedy of this story is that this girl’s father left the bank on his own tube and drowned trying to get to her. This was not known until they were all back to the bank, thinking everything had worked out, and noticed he was missing. Later, Chance, Heather, and her family witnessed search and rescue find the man in 10 feet of water and place him in a body bag.”

Comal County Sheriff’s Office reported that at approximately 7:52 p.m., on Thursday, June 16, their 9- 1- 1 Communications Center received a call for a missing person in the waters of Canyon Lake. The location was near the west point of Jacobs Creek Park, near the boat ramp.

The first arriving Sheriff’s Office patrol personnel were directed to the area in which the missing man was last seen in the water. Deputies were told that the incident occurred approximately ten (10) minutes prior to the call for assistance.

It was learned that a family from Port Arthur, TX, was staying at one of the local lodges, and spent the afternoon at Jacobs Creek Park. Two children with the group were floating near the shore on inflatable devices when the wind speed increased, blowing them westward further off shore.

According to witnesses, the victim, identified as Terry Hasan, 43 year old male from Port Arthur, TX, saw the children and ran down to the shore. He entered the lake, and with the aid of another inflatable, began swimming towards the children. After some 20-30 yards, he lost the inflatable, began having difficulty swimming, and went under. The children subsequently were safely picked up by a nearby boater, and returned to the family at the boat ramp.

Canyon Lake Fire and EMS units arrived at approximately 8:18 p.m. Using an inflatable rescue raft; they began a search in the area indicated by the family. After approximately 30 minutes, the victim was located in about 10 feet of water at approximately 8: 53PM. The victim was recovered and taken to shore, where Justice of the Peace, Pct. #4 Judge Jennifer Saunders was summoned. Judge Saunders pronounced the victim deceased at approximately 9:30 p.m., June 16, 2011.

Chance was a member of the LCATS Swim Team for eight years and is a 2011 graduate of Lexington High School. He is a lifeguard for the City of Giddings and at the age of 18, he has used his skills to help save five people.

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